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Couts, Sponseller, others honored by MVNU

MOUNT VERNON — Dr. LeeAnn Couts was named Faculty Member of the Year, while Jared Sponseller was tapped as Staff Member of the Year during Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s annual University Dinner, Monday, Aug. 26.

Couts, Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology, was touted for not only for her generous and compassionate spirit, but her leadership in moving the Engineering Department toward accreditation and her ability to connect with students in very challenging academic pursuits.

“Our students benefit from her rich research background and expertise in an exciting and expanding area of knowledge,” said Dr. Barnett Cochran, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Although sometimes initially fearful of her Behavioral Neuroscience class, under her guidance, students learn to see humanity at even the cellular level as created by God for relationship with God and others. Students have found this vision compelling. Her classes are full, and the line for independent studies is often long. Her response to the challenge of teaching in the shadow of the cross has been overwhelmingly successful.”

Sponseller, Director of Student Financial Services, was nominated as a kind and thoughtful leader who values his employees and connects well with students and parents when discussing all aspects of the financial aid process.

“Jared’s leadership has totally transformed both the processes and culture of the Student Financial Services office,” said James Smith, Vice President for University Relations. “I always know that if I give Jared a project, I can fully hand it over to him and he will get it done quickly and accurately. I am personally thankful for Jared’s leadership, his presence on this campus and to call him a friend.”

MVNU President Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, voiced his appreciation for staff, faculty, the Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees for believing in the university’s mission and vision, and for making it a part of their lives.

“One of the best things about MVNU is our community,” Spaulding said. “Our work together is a testimony to the world about the difference Christ makes. I am not naïve to our challenges or our frustrations, but even in those moments, we have a mutual mission. I thank God every day for you and I ask for strength, discernment and wisdom to lead this University into the future that God intends.”

Employees honored for their long-term commitment to MVNU include:

5 Year Award — Jodi Boyd, Kelly Clark, Jennifer Dean, Kelly Glancy, Shawnee Hagans, Darrel Liming, Thomas McCoy, Deborah Merki, Deborah Oakes, Robert Qualls, Jared Ronai, Gayle Shaffer and Jared Sponseller.

10 Year Award — Brenda Cheek, Dorothea Hawthorne, Tracy Waal and Theresa Zuercher.

15 Year Award — John Packard and James Singletary.

20 Year Award — Amy Brown, Barnett Cochran, Marilyn Elliott, Heather Hoag, JoAnn Koh-Baker, Jay Mahan, Joyce Miller, Carlos Serrao, Jeanne Serrao, Diana Tocheff and Vickie Williams.

25 Year Award — Wendi Lahmon.

30 Year Award — Colleen Bryan, Jim Dalton, John Donnelly, Jeana Howald and Paul Madtes.

35 Year Award — Karen Bush, Randy Cronk and Paul Swanson.

40 Year Award — Keith Veale.

To view photos of the evening, click here.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 31 states and 22 countries/U.S. territories.

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